SECTION TO (ULTRA-) ORTHODOX JEWS
A. Peculiarity Explained
It is, to say the least, highly unusual for an ultra-Orthodox, Jewish rabbi to write glowingly about Christianity. Therefore, as this book’s appreciation of Christianity is unending, the forthcoming section is meant, in part, to explain this peculiarity.
B. Non-Jewish Readers May Skip the Remainder of this Section to Orthodox Jews
Non-Jews may skip the remainder of this directed-to-(ultra)-Orthodox-Jews section (consequently, for such non-Jewish readers, there remains only one short section: “The Hurricanes Formerly Known as Maria”). In fact, the rest of this section may be hard to comprehend even for Orthodox Jews who are not ultra-Orthodox. However, despite this difficulty, these following segments are, nevertheless, included to legitimize this book’s contents in the eyes of (ultra-)Orthodox Jewish readers, who, otherwise, for fears of heresy, may wrongfully seek to ban this book’s reading.
C. Religious Authority Not to Be Topped: Rightly Speaking a Divine Name to Rabbi Moshe Wolfson—with the Account Both Relayed to and Over the Head of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
The following, in slightly edited format, are excerpts from a parsha sheet that was distributed to various rabbis and ultra-Orthodox synagogues in Boro Park, Brooklyn; Manhattan; Lakewood, NJ; and Baltimore, MD.
Following are brief excerpts of an account published in a Pessach-time gillyon that was distributed to all four of BMG’s roshai yeshivot. These excerpts are being reprinted because comment on the below has been received back by all four of these rabbayim (these very important comments follow the excerpts).
EXCERPTS FROM THE PESSACH-TIME GILLYON:
“Meeting with Rabbi Moshe Wolfson, Mashgiach Ruchani of Yeshivah Torah V’Daas: . . . I, Rabbi Chaim Yehudah Gruber, met Rabbi Moshe Wolfson . . . to tell him . . . I had . . . a divine message in the name of E-hyeh A-sher E-hyeh, ‘I Will Be What I Will Be.’ Immediately after I . . . [actually] pronounced . . . E-A-E . . . he [Rabbi Wolfson]. . . angrily demanded that I get out . . . However, I stayed calm and stood still. Then, Rabbi Wolfson threatened to call the police! . . . Still, I remained calm; and, I said that I would go as soon as I could say what I needed to say—and that it would take about two minutes. . . . [Thankfully,] he agreed.
“I said that at the yetziah’s start, Moshe was concerned that am Yisroel would not listen . . . Hashem . . . told Moshe to use the name . . . ‘I will be what I will be.’ Why [would this name get am Yisroel to listen]? . . . Because the same omnipresent Hashem . . . at the [sneh] would be the same Hashem wherever [Moshe] would go; and, Moshe had been given a true revelation . . . Meaning, Moshe knew the truth more than anyone else on Earth. And, once someone knows the unalterable truth, one has sufficient guidance wherever the person goes because the truth always bears itself out. . . . Those equipped with the truth can successfully be calm and nonviolent in their struggle because they allow their battles to be fought for them by the Creator of Nature, that is, by Hashem. . . .
“So . . . Moshe had enough to force those with yirat Hashem . . . to listen. [After all] . . . bnai Yisroel were . . . desperate and . . . waiting for a redeemer (pakod yifkod). And, those in dire straits who are expecting help should . . . be willing to listen to a calm and sincere messenger . . . In fact, al pe halacha . . . so long as a purportedly divine messenger were calm . . . and not a . . . lunatic, the Children of Israel must listen because not listening, at the least, long enough to determine whether the message was genuine, would be ignoring Yosef’s promise of . . . a future redeemer. . . . And, again, because Moshe had . . . the truth . . . by revealing the truth after getting . . . attentive ears . . . the wise . . . would right away understand, and the foolish, eventually.
“Today, analogous to pakod yifkod/pakod pakadti, is the 12th principle of Jewish faith. Meaning, faithful Jews, when told of a purportedly divine message, should, al pi halacha, believe that, at the least, an infinitesimal chance exists that such a message is authentic. So, if some chance exists that a purportedly divine message is genuine and the person delivering the message will remain calm no matter what, well, a Yid with yirat Hashem must, at the least, be willing merely to listen to determine if the message is true. Rabbi Wolfson, to that, agreed; and, he greatly changed his countenance because he enough realized that his earlier refusal to listen went against halacha. And, regarding other gedolai Yisroel of this and previous dorot, he knew that the overwhelming majority of them, or even all of them, would have, at first, behaved in the same will-not-listen way as he had, and thereby, would have, also, been over on this crucial halacha.
“Then, having said what I needed, Rabbi Wolfson realized that I had rightly spoken in the divine, E-A-E name . . . Now polite, he sweetly showed me the door and uttered a powerful bracha that Moshiach should come ‘Immediately!’ I said ‘Amen!’” [It seems clear that Rabbi Wolfson gave such a bracha because he realized that this divine vort was enough to get am Yisroel to listen to Kol Hashem; and, according to the Talmud, the only thing that Moshiach needs in order to come is for am Yisroel to so listen.]
END OF PESSACH-TIME EXCERPTS
Rabbi Yekutiel Dershowitz—gabbai of gedol hador Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky and Alan Dershowitz’s first-cousin—relayed the above account involving Rabbis Wolfson and Gruber to Rabbi Kanievsky. Then, in Baltimore, in a Parshat Bo meeting with nusie ha’ear, Rabbi Ya’akov Hopfer, Rabbi Deshowitz confirmed, with Rabbi Gruber present, that the account was delivered to Rabbi Kanievsky and that the chiddushim involved were over the gedor hador’s head. (Clearly, due to Rabbi Aharon Shteinman being very aged and ill, rafuah shelama lo, this matter would overwhelm the other gedor hador too.) During this meeting, these three rabbis agreed that this clearly divine matter could be properly handled only by a newly reformed and truly respected Sanhedrin. . . .
News of this Baltimore meeting and its topics of discussion were, in printed form, made known to local Baltimore rabbis, including to Star-K’s head, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann. . . . Moreover, Rabbi Shmuel Fishelis, son-in-law of posek hador Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, agreed that only a Sanhedrin could rightly handle this matter; and, Rabbi Fishelis made his remark after speaking to Rabbi Feinstein, who well knew of the account involving Rabbis Wolfson and Gruber.
Regarding the BMG roshai yeshivot ... all made aware of this account, Rabbi A. Malkiel Kotler and Rabbi Yerucham Olshin said this matter of Rabbi Gruber speaking in a divine name was over their heads. However, in contrast, Rabbi Dovid Schustal and Rabbi Yisroel Neuman agreed that the matter could be handled only by a reformed and genuine Sanhedrin. Of course, the aged Rav Salomon has, also, been made aware of the situation.
D. Silence Both from Posek Hador, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, and from Bobov-45 Dayan, Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin
Despite the unprecedented-in-eons, seemingly-correct-usage of a divine name, the rabbis knowing of the previously related, Rabbi-Wolfson account, including Rabbi Dovid Feinstein (Chief Rabbi of the Mesorah Heritage Foundation and who many consider to be America’s greatest Orthodox Rabbi) and Bobov-45’s Boro Park Dayan, Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin, did not spring into action. However, Hashem is meant to be given the greatest amount of kavod. Therefore, if a divine name seems to have been correctly used with a given vort that clearly seems to be emet, an investigation should occur ASAP. In fact, inaction implies that the rabbayim are not showing Hashem proper kavod, that is, they are not willing to listen to His kol.
Of course, as such a rabbinic unwillingness to listen to kol Hashem is a well-known, historical and ongoing issue (Moshiach, the Gemara relates, could come hayom if am Yisroel would listen to Hashem’s voice), today’s rabbis cannot be overly faulted due to yiridat hadorot. After all, if all the greater dorot since the time of the Gemara (and before) were unwilling to listen to kol Hashem, could it be expected that this dor would listen?
With such rabbinic inaction in mind, when meeting with Reb Dovid Feinstein, I asked him something like the following: “The events involving Rabbi Wolfson, as you yourself know, are true. Therefore, how can you ignore what is going on and continue to daven as if nothing has occurred? To whom do you think you are praying? Hashem is Chai Ani, that is, living. He is all things, including these events. Do you think that Hashem does not know about what is going on?”
Tzaddik that Rabbi Dovid Feinstein is, after I said these words to him, he warmed up to me. Continuing to Rabbi Feinstein, I, also, said something similar to this: “Due to pressing tikkun olam obligations, such as stopping war, Hashem is sending me to the Christians because the rabbis have refused to act. Do you have any objection to this?” Rabbi Feinstein was silent.
Later that same night, when I met Rabbi Rubin, he was similarly questioned. That is, he was asked to whom does he think he is davening? He was, also, asked if he had a problem with me going to the Christians. He, too, was silent.
Regarding Rabbi Shmuel Fishelis, he, again, knew of the events involving myself and Rabbi Wolfson. And, when he was asked these same, above-related questions immediately after my having spoken to Rabbi Feinstein, he said that, were I to do such a thing as go to the Christians, I would not know what I would be getting myself into. (Of course, this wise rabbi’s words contain a truth—however, I have faith that Hashem will provide in any place into which He tells me to go: “gam key alech b’gai tzalmavet.”) Do to his words, I responded with something like, “Then what do you suggest that I otherwise do considering both the rabbinic inaction and that I cannot do this job alone?” At that point, Rabbi Fishelis became silent.
E. Hascama (Jewish Law Permission to Publish)
For those unfamiliar with the ultra-Orthodox, Jewish world, books generally require, like a necessary recommendation, a rabbinic hascama: a permission-to-publish given to an author from a respected-enough rabbi. Such a permission relates that the publication is believed to be theologically sound. Part II of this section directed to (ultra-)Orthodox Jews contains details of my rabbinic permission to write this tome that delves heavily and positively into Christian theology. This permission partly comes from the Square dayan (rabbinic judge) of Montreal, Rabbi Yochanan Wosner, cousin of Rabbi Shmuel Wosner, z’tl. Rabbi Y. Wosner, as will be explained in this section’s latter half, granted me a first-of-its-kind, all-purpose heter (license). I use this theological, broad-spectrum license to publish, in accord with Jewish law, this book—a book that might, to (ultra-)Orthodox Jews, seem shocking due to its sufficient acceptance of Christian theology.
Actually, after completing both this first and the upcoming, second part of this section, Jewish readers should recognize that I, the author, have something greater than a rabbinic permission. Specifically—and both as has been already somewhat exhibited in this section’s previous segments and as will be further shown—I have a legitimately divine permission to write this book that, paradoxically, both is wholeheartedly Christian and does not abrogate (ultra-)Orthodox, Jewish beliefs. This divine permission is derived from spiritual matters, involving myself, that have been, and continue to be, over the heads of those who, by (ultra-)Orthodox standards, either are or are among the world’s greatest rabbis.
The following is merely a partial listing of such an esteemed rabbinic body: gedol hador (foremost rabbi of the age) Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (in particular, via his gabbai/assistant, Rabbi Yekutiel Dershowitz, cousin of famed American lawyer, Alan Dershowitz); the Mesorah Heritage Foundation’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein; the Square Rebbe, Rabbi Dovid Twersky (and his oldest son, Rabbi Ahron Mendel) via the Square dayan of Montreal, Rabbi Yochanan Wosner; the moshgiach ruchani (spiritual director) of Torah v’Daas Yeshivah (school), Rabbi Moshe Wolfson; Chabad head, Rabbi Chaim Yehudah Krinsky (repeatedly ranked America’s “most influential rabbi”); the Muncatcher Rebbe, Rabbi Moshe Leib Rabinowicz, and his younger brother, Williamsburg’s Dinover Rebbe, Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Rabinowicz; Satmar Rav, Rabbi Zalman Lev Teitelbaum; the moshgiach ruchani and all of the four roshai yeshivot (heads of school) of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ (namely, Rabbis Salomon, Kotler, Olshin, Schustal, and Neuman); Baltimore’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Ya’akov Hopfer; Brooklyn’s Bobov-45 dayan, Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin; Montreal’s Viznitzer Rav, Rabbi Aaron Hagar; Star-K’s head rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann; Square’s Boro Park dayan, Rabbi Michel Steinmetz; Ner Yisroel Yeshiva of Baltimore’s Rabbi Yissocher Frand; and the Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada’s managing director, Rabbi Yitzchak Glick.
F. Book’s Contents Correspond to the Torah
In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a magnet for Hassidic Jews, I, before this book’s publication, got into a conversation with an elderly Hassid. During that chat, I relayed a religious opinion of mine regarding a theological shift that I believed was to occur in the future, Messianic times. When hearing my words, the man, at once, became furious due to his belief that my opinion was heretical! My opinion, of course, was not. Rather, this old man was too set in his ways. Thankfully, by our conversation’s end, this elder came around to my way of seeing things. Nonetheless, I gained important lessons from our interaction. For one, I realized that the ideas in the book that I was concluding (this very book) were a sufficient evolution over commonly-held religious beliefs that, at first blush, my ideas might be, to those religiously dogmatic, misinterpreted as heretical.
With that in mind, I relate to (ultra-)Orthodox Jews that prior to this book’s publication, seven very prominent, ultra-Orthodox rabbis [the Mesorah Heritage Foundation’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein; the spiritual director and the four heads of school of Lakewood’s Beth Medrash Govoha (that is, Rabbis Matisyahu Salomon, Malkiel Kotler, Yerucham Olshin, Dovid Schustal, and Yisroel Neuman); and Bobov-45 dayan, Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin] were each sent a draft section of this book. That draft was titled, “Planned Section of an Upcoming Book that, Without Abrogating Torah Values, Is Highly Complementary of Christianity.”
In that draft, most of these rabbis names were mentioned in a manner that bolstered my positive interpretation of Christianity; and, the remaining rabbis were mentioned neutrally. Moreover, many prominent Jewish publications, including the Jewish Press and the Jerusalem Post, were informed of my publication intentions and forwarded the draft’s start. And, from my follow-ups with the editors of these two papers at the least, my email was assuredly not missed. Rather, as Jason Maoz of the Jewish Press wrote, the subject matter was too controversial.
To this day, that is, after the publication of this book’s first edition, not one of these rabbis has complained to me about the mention of his name. Meaning, as they, a group America’s very top ultra-Orthodox rabbis have not complained (for those unaware, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein is enough considered the greatest Torah sage outside of Israel), I do not think that any (ultra-) Orthodox Jew has any right to complain about my theological perspective before getting into direct contact with one of these mentioned rabbis. (In this volume’s published version, the segments of that draft section sent to those rabbis are included in different areas of this book.)
Finally, to (ultra-)Orthodox Jews who—either after reading this book’s entire contents or getting whatever answers they can collect from one of the above-mentioned rabbis—still do not comprehend my permission to write this book, consider the holy and righteous Noda B’Yehudah, a’h. This RIP rabbi, without explaining, once added another day to Passover.
G. Death of Rabbi Aharon Yehudah Leib Shteinman, RIP, Elevates this Book’s Authority to a Lofty Level that Cannot Be Trumped!
A few months before this book’s first-edition publication, the rabbi that enough ultra-Orthodox Jews considered the world’s greatest, Rabbi Aharon Yehudah Leib Shteinman, passed from this world (God rest his soul in peace). Due to such an event, no rabbi presently alive has any authority to ban this book! This can be rightfully stated because (1) as earlier mentioned, “spiritual matters, involving myself . . . have been, and continue to be, over the heads of those who, by (ultra-)Orthodox standards, either are or are among the world’s greatest rabbis. . . . [Including] gedol hador (foremost rabbi of the age) Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky”; and (2) since the time of Rabbi Shteinman’s passing, Rabbi Kanievsky is, now, enough considered the world’s greatest rabbi. Hence, if very-high-level (and, in fact, divine) spiritual matters are over the head of he who is considered the ultimate rabbinic authority, he himself would have no right authority to ban this book. And, if he, the world’s foremost rabbi, has no authority, no one does. (While there were many ultra-Orthodox Jews who considered Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach to be the world’s greatest Torah sage, he, also now RIP, journeyed into the next world shortly before this book’s original publication. Further, in the Hassidic world, these spiritual matters involving myself have proven to be too much for the greatest dynastic heads, including, and just to name three, the Squarer Rebbe; the Satmar Rebbe, Zalmen Lev; and the Bobover Rebbe, Ben Tzion.)
For those removed from the ultra-Orthodox, Jewish world, I use an Arthurian analogy to explain this “very-high-level . . . divine . . . matter” (already partly described in the segment, “Religious Authority Not to Be Topped”): it was as if, in a rabbinical fashion, I had pulled out, from its legendary stone of gargantuan grip, Excalibur.
Moreover, to again mention, many rabbis—including Baltimore’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Ya’akov Hopfer; Rabbi Chaim Kanievesky’s gabbai, Rabbi Yekutiel Dershowitz; BMG’s heads of school, Rabbis Dovid Schustal and Yisroel Neuman; and 5th-Avenue-Synagogue rabbi, Rabbi Shmuel Fishelis (who is, too, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein’s son-in-law)—have publicly agreed that this divine, spiritual matter could be handled only by a genuine Sanhedrin that would have to reform. (A Sanhedrin is an Israelite, religious, high judicial body that last functioned, in official form, roughly 1600 years ago.)
Rabbi Shteinman died a mere half-day before the start of Chanukah 5778 (2017). Since belief in an omnipresent Almighty precludes belief in unrelated coincidence, what heavenly sign might be interpreted by this near overlap?
For one, the timing could be construed to mean that Rabbi Shteinman’s life was so valued by God that it should be more celebrated than mourned. After all, an eight-day festival began only hours after the great rabbi’s death. In fact, the one-and-only positive interpretation is that it must have been, somehow, good that Rabbi Shteinman died when he did so that Chanukah, without irreverence to the blessed Rabbi’s memory, could be properly celebrated with revelry. Otherwise, as rain spoils a parade, if the death was meant to be mourned and not celebrated as a life well lived, Chanukah’s festivities would be blemished.
Secondly, and as relates to this volume, because Rabbi Shteinman’s passing means that no rabbi alive has the authority to ban this book, the timing of his death was certainly a Chanukah gift that greatly aids All My Grace’s publication. While it is usually highly inappropriate to celebrate someone’s passing, in this case, however, due to the obligation for all Jews to celebrate Chanukah, it is clear that God wanted Rabbi Shteinman’s death to be celebrated (in fact, and surely, many heard of his passing only after Chanukah had already begun). Hence, it is right to mention how his death lends divine support to this book’s dissemination.
Finally, were Rabbi Shteinman, God rest his soul, still alive, the theological matter both brought to and found to be over the head of Rabbi Kanievsky, may have been brought to Rabbi Shteinman—whose ruling could have trumped Rabbi Kanievsky’s. Moreover, who knows what type of manipulation or misinterpretation of Rabbi Shteinman’s holy words would then be forthcoming from the lips of those with anti-Christian sentiments and who do not understand God’s larger plan? Meaning, and to reiterate, if the only-in-God’s-hands timing of Rabbi Shteinman’s death is a benefit to this book’s publication, and his death came mere hours before Chanukah, the only fully positive interpretation is that God desires acceptance of this book from Jews. After all, only via such an interpretation can the timing of Rabbi Shteinman’s death be considered a true Chanukah gift.
H. Meetings Both with Rabbis Azriel Auerbach, Benayahu Shmueli, and Yitzchak Cohen and with Rabbis Yaakov and Chaim Hillel
At the Jerusalem offices of the Ahavat Shalom Institute (founded by Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Hillel), on the twenty-fourth day of the Omer, Jewish year 5778 (Biblically, fifty days are counted between Passover and Pentecost; and, such a period is called the Omer), I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Institute genius, Rabbi Azriel Auerbach, brother of the late Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach. We spoke about the coming of Moshiach. On the same subject of the Messiah, I, shortly thereafter, conversed with another of the Institute’s geniuses, Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen. After my chats with both these rabbis, I am more convinced that my theological course of action is correct; and, they gave me no reason to think otherwise.
Moreover, in Jerusalem, a couple of weeks prior, during the Passover holiday (actually, on Easter Sunday), I met with Rabbi Benayahu Shmueli, to whom I was introduced as Y’hoshua HaChaim. I, again, saw the great sage, some days later, at his Nahar Shalom school. And, after our two conversations—and a critical discussion with his assistant about the need to change the time of the clock over Rabbi Shmueli’s desk—I became further solidified in my theological perspective’s verity.
About two weeks after my meetings with Rabbis Auerbach and Cohen, I spoke with Rabbi Chaim Hillel—son of Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Hillel, the world-renown founder of Ahavat Shalom. Rabbi Chaim and I both conversed about the Messiah and accomplished, at his instigation, an impromptu goral Ha'Gra (lottery) regarding whether he was, at that time, to go to Tel Aviv (he was not to go).
The following day, I spoke to his father, Rabbi Yaakov Hillel. We discussed his (Rabbi Yaakov’s) method of descending stairs and other topics. At our conversation’s conclusion, Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, described in the media as “devastatingly critical of [religious] phonies,” relayed that he intended to be, at the least, silent about my book that is appreciative of Christianity. His reserve would be in the way that the Genesis characters Bethuel and Laban were wise enough, despite any of their personal disagreements, to be silent as regards to the doings of Eliezar, servant of Abraham, whose mission was truly ordained by God (Gen. 24:50).
I. My Un-Excommunication
Due to my positive perspective on Christianity, I was, once, publicly excommunicated from the Jewish, ultra-Orthodox, Hassidic community in Montreal by one of the city’s most influential rabbis, the ultra-Orthodox, Square dayan (rabbinic judge) of Montreal, Rabbi Yochanan Wosner (cousin of the great, rabbinic guiding light, Rabbi Shmuel Wosner, z”tl). Due to the excommunication, I, abruptly, had to stop my nightly lecture series at Rabbi Wosner’s synagogue.
However, after Rabbi Wosner and another ultra-Orthodox rabbi, Rabbi Naftali Gandal, performed a lengthy investigation into my teachings on Christianity, it was proven that my inclusive theology was valid from an ultra-Orthodox perspective. Thereafter, I was un-excommunicated. (The Canadian media reported about these incidents.) After my excommunication was revoked, Rabbi Wosner wrote an apologetic letter for his having wrongfully excluded me from the community. This letter of exoneration was distributed to 1000+ Hassidic homes in Montreal via one of the community’s weekly advertisers.
J. All-Purpose Heter
After Hoshanna Rabba, 5774 (2013), Rabbi Wosner granted me an otherwise unheard of “all-purpose heter.” (A heter is a rabbinic permission to override a lower law from the Torah. To give an example, while Orthodox-Jewish law prohibits driving a vehicle on the Sabbath, a Jewish ambulance driver may be granted an ongoing heter to drive an ambulance on the Sabbath because saving a life is a more important Torah law than that of not driving a vehicle on the Sabbath.) It is this all-purpose heter that I utilize for the rightful publication of this book according to halachah (Jewish Law).
(Non-Orthodox Jews and those of others religions may find it peculiar that I feel a need to justify my writings to Orthodox Jews. However, and again, such a justification is necessary to prevent the banning of this book in the ultra-Orthodox-Jewish world.)
However, and particularly to younger Jewish readers, my all-purpose heter should not necessarily be considered to apply to teachings about Christianity from any others, including from other Jews. While I do not wish to degrade others’ wisdoms, nonetheless, there do exist very confused theological teachings about Christianity. (In fact, from my perspective at the least, I have found that, in one way or another, such a confusion enough pervades, at the time of this book’s publication, to every single branch, denomination, and sect of Christianity and Messianic Judaism.)
Rabbi Wosner’s all-purpose heter was granted in oral form. However, for parshat Emor, 5775, a parsha gillyon (weekly study sheet) was widely distributed throughout Boro Park, Brooklyn, with a special distribution in the synagogue of the Square dayan of Boro Park, Rabbi Yechiel Michel Steinmetz. In that gillyon, largely sponsored by Rabbi Steinmetz’s son, David, the granting of Rabbi Wosner’s heter was publicly announced (what follows is a close-copy of excerpts from that gillyon). Therefore, that Rabbi Wosner did, in fact, issue such a heter is information that is well-enough established in the ultra-Orthodox, Hassidic community. (In the following excerpts, mention is made of my having spoken in a divine name to Rabbi Moshe Wolfson or Emunat Yisroel, Boro Park. Greater details of this interaction with Rabbi Wolfson will be forthcoming later in this section.)
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND “ALL-PURPOSE HETER”
In New Square, after Hoshanna Rabba, 5774, the great gaon and tzaddik, Rabbi Yochanon Wosner, shlita, dayan of Square Montreal, granted me, Rabbi Chaim Yehudah Gruber, an “all-purpose heter.” To understand some of Rabbi Wosner’s rationale for his having granted me the heter, events similar to the way that I rightly spoken in a divine name to Rabbi Moshe Wolfson . . . had, also, earlier occurred in Montreal and in Yerushalayim (these events were well publicized and are known to many). However, some of the world’s greatest rabbayim, for their reasons, preferred a passive and not proactive response to Hashem having spoken. . . . Due to this expected, stiff-necked inertia at the highest rabbinic levels, Rabbi Wosner, brilliantly, issued me an all-purpose heter so that I could do what I needed to do . . .
The heter, also, had divine approval, because Hashem revealed to me that the only thing that I, then, required from Rabbi Wosner was an all-purpose heter. Therefore, I related to Rabbi Wosner that Hashem had said to me that the one thing that I needed from him, the dayan, was such a heter. Immediately after I said this, Dayan Wosner said something like, “I know just what you mean!” Then, on-the-spot, he verbally granted me an all-purpose heter. . . . Of course, such a heter could not have been given to me by Rabbi Wosner unless this great tzaddik recognized that, to a sufficient degree, I had a mal lev. Meaning, my heart is circumcised enough so that my desires are aligned to the desires of Borai Ha’olam so that I could not do any significant wrong. Of course, an all-purpose heter cannot be rightly issued to anyone without a mal lev.
NOTE: just before publication of this daf, I, in N.Y.C., spoke over the phone to Rabbi Wosner in Montreal. I read to him a copy of this section about his granting of this all-purpose heter (what I read was nearly identical to the previous). He relayed that he had no problem with what I had written; and, he knew that this section was to be in a parsha sheet. Further, afterwards, he gave me this exact bracha: “The Eiybishtar should help and you should be matzliach!”
FYI: incidents involving the Viznitzer Rebbe, shlita, via his son, Harav Aaron Hagar, shlita, connected to Rabbi Wosner’s dealings with the Square Rebbe, shlita, greatly influenced Rabbi Wosner’s decision to issue the heter.
K. Returning to Belief in Messages from the Dead: Message from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s Soul
As mentioned at this book’s start, Orthodox Jews believe that a genuine message from someone in the afterlife can be received. Therefore, Orthodox Jews should, too, be able to believe that a message can be perceived from Mary, Jesus’ mother, who both lived and died.
With that in mind, the next segment is a slightly edited and abbreviated Passover-time gillyon [a religious circular, usually distributed in a synagogue(s) before a Sabbath or a holiday]. The gillyon details an otherworldly message that I received from the soul of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, a’h (RIP), whose yeshiva I attended as a youth. Again, this message was received a short time before the Virgin Mary’s message; and, the great Rabbi Feinstein’s communication was accompanied by—to the witness of many ultra-Orthodox Jews including rabbis—miraculous, supernatural signs vouching for the message’s genuine nature.
Because ultra-Orthodox Jewish readers would be more likely to believe that the message from Mary is authentic were they to recognize that an authentic, supernatural, posthumous message from Rabbi Feinstein had been received a short while before, I include details of the message from Rabbi Feinstein.
For those unfamiliar with Rabbi Feinstein’s standing in Jewry’s world stage, when he was alive, he was considered by many to be the world’s greatest authority on Jewish law. Moreover, if, at the time of this book’s publication, merely typing the word “Rabbi” on a Google search, the first photo that should pop up is a photo of this rabbi, sitting and pointing (similarly to how “God,” on the Sistine Chapel, is pointing). Rabbi Feinstein’s photo pops up due to Wikipedia’s usage of this foremost rabbi as its “Rabbi”-section posterchild.
The Passover gillyon detailing the otherworldly message was distributed to the numerous rabbis mentioned therein, including to Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Beth Medrash Govoha’s Rabbi Dovid Schustal, Rabbi Shmuel Fishelis (and his wife, who is Rabbi Dovid’s daughter, Rebbitzin Gitty), and Rabbi Beryl Feinstein.
Those who are not ultra-Orthodox Jewish may have difficulty understanding this gillyon’s forthcoming details. However, these particulars are included specifically for ultra-Orthodox Jews so that credibility is lent to the account involving the message from the Virgin Mary. (For those not Orthodox Jewish, some of the Hebrew/Aramaic terms are loosely defined in adjacent brackets.)
L. Miracle on Shushan Purim!
The following, in slightly edited format, were the four headlines of a gillyon [journal] that was distributed, after the Jewish holiday of Purim, 5777 (2017), to various rabbis and others in Manhattan and in Lakewood, NJ:
1. According to halacha [Biblically mandated lifestyle], one may not send a message to someone niftar(ah) [dead]; however, one may receive a message, such as one may get in a dream.
2. Rabbi Chaim Gruber perceives otherworldly message from the neshama [soul] of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, z”tl [RIP]! Message relayed by Rabbi Gruber to Feinstein family member on Shushan Purim [a holiday mentioned in the Book of Esther]. Other family members, such as posek hador [rabbinic, jurisprudential authority for the age], Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, was later told of the message, as was Reb Moshe’s grandson, Rabbi Beryl Feinstein.
3. Miraculous siyata dishmaya simonim [heavenly signs], witnessed by many in different cities, truly seem to confirm the authenticity of gedol ha’dor [greatest rabbi of the age] Reb [Rabbi] Moshe’s supernatural message from the other-side! One of the witnesses was Rabbi Shmuel Fishelis, grandson-in-law of Reb Moshe.
4. Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG) Rosh Yeshiva [Head of School], Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Schustal, was told both that an otherworldly message from the niftar Rabbi Feinstein was received and about the witnessed-by-many, siyata dishmaya [heavenly] signs that accompanied the message. Then, the Rosh Yeshiva was asked if he thought that such signs were, in his estimation, of a high enough madrega [level] to lend credibility to the claim that the supernatural message was, in fact, genuine. Rabbi Schustal’s with-permission-to-quote response: “IT SOUNDS THAT WAY!”
The forthcoming, which, also, is slightly edited, was the body of this same gillyon:
On what is recalled to have been already the night of dalet Shevat, 5777, Rabbi Chaim Yehudah Gruber, in Baltimore, perceived a message from the neshama of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, z’tl. At the time of the message’s receipt (Rabbi Gruber was awake), enough siyata dishmaya “coincidences” occurred so that Rabbi Gruber believed that he had received an authentic message. In fact, that very night, because the siyata dishmaya had been so strong, he told another Baltimore rabbi that he had received a message from Reb Moshe.
The next morning, Rabbi Gruber checked the online news. He saw a news report, which, he recalls, was the very top news story when he was then online. This report regarded a subject closely related to the message that he had received from Reb Moshe the previous night! (The story regarded British, WWII code-breaker Alan Turing.) Because of the continued siyata dishmaya, Rabbi Gruber, at that point, showed the news article to the other Baltimore rabbi and told him more about Reb Moshe’s message.
Rabbi Gruber remained in Baltimore until Purim-time, when he travelled to New York. Come Shushan Purim, Rabbi Gruber went to Mesivta Tifereth Yerushalayim (MTJ), which was Reb Moshe’s beit midrash and yeshivah, now headed by his son, a gadol and posek ha’dor, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein. (Before this past Shushan Purim, Rabbi Gruber had not been in MTJ for, perhaps, five months.)
In the beit midrash, he met Rabbi Shmuel Fishelis, Reb Moshe’s grandson-in-law. Rabbi Gruber told Rabbi Fishelis that he had received a message from Reb Moshe (Rabbi Gruber, since he was a child, has known Rabbi Fishelis). After spending an estimated seven or eight minutes relating both the eye-opening message (about a forbidden sexual relationship that, under certain circumstances, was not forbidden) and its chiddush-filled [novel] implications, Rabbi Gruber told Rabbi Fishelis that he was finished.
Then, within a literal second perhaps, another rabbi—who had been quietly studying with his chavrusa [study partner] at about 25-feet away and who could not have overheard the quiet conversation between Rabbis Fishelis and Gruber—suddenly, and for whatever reason, decided to raise his voice for his reading of a particular possuk [sentence] from a sefer [book] that he was going over. B’kol rom [in a loud voice], for all the beit midrash [study hall] to hear, he uttered something identical or very similar to the following, “And The Grandfathers Are Obligated To Teach Their Grandchildren!” Then, just as suddenly, he went back to reading to his chavrusa quietly enough so that those at any significant distance (including Rabbis Fishelis and Gruber) could not hear his words.
At once, Rabbi Gruber realized the amazing siyata dishmaya [heavenly help] of this other rabbi’s utterance! Instantly becoming wide-eyed, Rabbi Gruber said to Rabbi Fishelis that a miracle had occurred! After all, the exact moment after he had finished relaying to Rabbi Fishelis a very informative message from Reb Moshe—who is Rabbi Fishelis’ grandfather-in-law—the other rabbi (not mentioned by name because he prefers anonymity), for no explicable reason and for the first time during Rabbi Gruber’s visit to the beit midrash, loudly read from the sefer that he was reading (a Rambam [that is, a Maimonides]) and announced for everyone to hear that grandfathers are obligated to teach their grandsons! Due to this outstandingly synchronous overlap, siyata dishmaya confirmed that Reb Moshe’s message was genuine! This heavenly help, also, implied, because of the possuk’s exact words, that the otherworldly message that was being relayed was so important that it was one that Reb Moshe was obligated to impart!
“And The Grandfathers Are Obligated To Teach Their Grandchildren!”
Rabbi Gruber was so amazed and thankful to Hashem for this miraculous sign that he brought the other rabbi over to Rabbi Fishelis. While Rabbi Gruber did not, at that time anyway, tell this other rabbi that he had been relaying a message from the neshama of the heilegah [holy] Reb Moshe to Rabbi Fishelis, he did tell the other rabbi that he was relaying a remarkable chiddush [novel idea] from Reb Moshe. And, as soon as his relating of Reb Moshe’s chiddush was finished, Rabbi Gruber told the other rabbi that he, that is, the other rabbi, happened to have read, out loud, that particular possuk about the grandfathers being obligated to teach the grandsons.
Others in the beit midrash were, also, told of the amazing siyata dishmaya, and one of the gabbayim [synagogue helpers], Yehudah (whom Rabbi Gruber knows for many years), was told that the “chiddush” from Reb Moshe was actually a message from the niftar’s nishama [Reb Moshe’s soul].
Later that night, Rabbi Gruber was trying to get back to Baltimore. However, a blizzard was expected and public transportation was both being cancelled and becoming sold out. Although Rabbi Gruber tried to get a bus or a train, he could not. Without a place to stay that night in New York, he travelled to Lakewood where he arranged hochnoset orchim [hospitality].
The next morning, Rabbi Gruber entered BMG. Enjoying leftover Purim goodies, he sat in a small beit midrash. Then, within a short time, he overheard someone, who was studying, say something like the following to his chavrusa: “This is where the sodot [secrets] come out!” Rabbi Gruber, interested, got up, went over to the men, and inquired as to which Torah secrets they were discussing.
These two men—introducing themselves as Rabbi Abraham Beeber and Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Eizijovich—related that they were going over something from the Sh’lah Hakodesh [a late, holy rabbi], who wrote about the shevatim [the tribes of Israel] making a golem [human-like figure] in a woman’s image. Rabbi Beeber thought it made more sense to have a golem in a man’s image, and he wondered why it would be a woman’s? They asked Rabbi Gruber for his opinion as to why it was a woman’s image. While Rabbi Gruber had not before heard this vort [comment], he speculated. As soon as he had, Rabbi Beeber suddenly became excited and remarked that what Rabbi Gruber had said reminded him of something in the Igeret Moshe [Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s book]; and, just as suddenly, he went to fetch one from a shelf!
When Rabbi Gruber had speculated, he had neither spoken about Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s message nor said anything that he thought would cause Rabbi Beeber to suddenly need an Igeret Moshe. Therefore, Rabbi Gruber himself got excited because—and especially considering the cryptic remark that he had overheard about the “secrets” coming out—he felt that, in a manner akin to a goral ha’gra [a mystic method of casting lots], he was about to get divine information from whatever section in the Igeret Moshe that Rabbi Beeber was to read! . . .
When Rabbi Beeber returned with the Igeret, what he read was an account of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein visiting a very sick man with a strangely enlarged tongue. The tale related that when Rabbi Feinstein was sitting beside the sick man’s bed, the sick man told him the following: he, before he became sick, had said that it was wrong for the b’not Lot [daughters of Lot] to have named their children Moab and Ammon because, by their so doing, they drew attention to their sexual incest with their father. Then, after his having so spoken against the b’not Lot, he had a dream. In the dream, two very aged women came to him, who were the b’not Lot. They revealed that the reason why they had given their children such names was to make sure that others weren’t misled into believing that their children came from an immaculate conception. And, because of the wrongful, bad words that he had spoken against them, the sick man would die. At that point, when the sick man concluded his account of his dream to Reb Moshe, he turned in his bed and died.
Rabbi Gruber was astonished by the particular section of the Igeret that Rabbi Beeber had chosen. He was astonished for multiple reasons: (1) The section pertained to a genuine message from the dead—which was clearly parallel to Rabbi Gruber having relayed a message from the dead from Reb Moshe; and (2) the message that Rabbi Gruber had received in Baltimore, and which he had, the day before, relayed to Rabbi Fishelis, regarded, like the account of the b’not Lot, a forbidden intimate relationship that, under certain circumstances, was not forbidden!
Rabbi Gruber was so amazed that he took photos of both Rabbis Beeber and Eizijovich and asked permission to publicize this account with their names (they gave permission). When these two rabbis first saw Rabbi Gruber’s amazement, Rabbi Gruber was, then, obliged to explain to them what had happened, that is, about both his having received a supernatural message from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s soul and his having delivered the message only the day before in MTJ, to the unexpected accompaniment of miraculous siyata dishmaya. (Rabbi Gruber, did not, however, relay to these rabbis that Reb Moshe’s message regarded the potential permissibility of an otherwise-forbidden, intimate relationship. Rather, he only revealed that his amazement was due to the parallel of the chosen Igeret section pertaining to a message from the dead. Rabbi Gruber did not, then, divulge the other detail, because he did not, on-the-spot, know how to raise such a delicate subject with enough grace.)
When davening [praying] soon happened to begin, a man in a wheelchair approached and then, when he picked up a siddur [prayerbook] on a shtender [podium], made a strange remark. Handing this siddur to Rabbi Gruber (who was beside the man and helped him due to his being in a wheelchair), the man said that it was bizarre that a Rosh Hashanna machzor [New Year’s prayerbook] happened to be out so far from Rosh Hashanna [New Year’s]. Some hours later, on that same spot, Rabbi Gruber bumped into BMG Rosh Yeshiva [Head of School], Yisroel Tzvi Neuman. Rabbi Gruber remarked that there was some peculiar simon [divine sign], if, earlier, on the same spot, he was handed a ROSH Hashanna machzor, and then, bumped into a ROSH Yeshiva. (Interestingly, the last time that Rabbi Gruber met with Rabbi Neuman was around Rosh Hashanna, when Rabbi Gruber spent the chaggim [holidays] in Lakewood.) Rabbi Gruber, then, related to Rabbi Neuman the remarkable account about the message from Rabbi Feinstein, and the captivated Rabbi Neuman became wide-eyed!
After Rabbi Neuman left, Rabbi Gruber realized that he should have said something more to the Rosh Yeshiva. So, Rabbi Gruber prayed to Hashem [the LORD] for forgiveness for not having said all that he should have said when meeting with Rabbi Neuman. . . . Thank God, Hashem answered Rabbi Gruber’s prayer in about ten minutes! Within that time (1) Rabbi Gruber spoke to Rabbi Neuman’s son Ya’akov, and Ya’akov was asked to relay a particular message to his father; and (2) Rabbi Gruber bumped into Rosh Yeshiva Schustal. With Rabbi Schustal, Hashem gave Rabbi Gruber chen [grace] so that he could mention to another Rosh Yeshiva the account of what had happened, and then, ask this second Rosh Yeshiva what he had not asked of the first. Namely, if the Rosh Yeshiva thought that the siyata dishmaya signs that accompanied the message seemed to be of a sufficiently extraordinary nature to lend credibility to the claim that the otherworldly message from Reb Moshe was authentic. Rabbi Schustal responded, with permission to quote, “It sounds that way!”
The next day, Rabbi Gruber was reading a Purim-edition Flatbush Jewish Journal that a student had left on a table. Opening it, he discovered an article about Reb Moshe. Then, when reading it, Rabbi Gruber became stunned: the article mentioned that Reb Moshe’s funeral took place, in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem], on Shushan Purim! Rabbi Gruber had either not known or forgotten this fact. So, when he realized that he happened to have had, at MTJ, relayed the posthumous message from Reb Moshe to Rabbi Fishelis on the same day as Reb Moshe’s funeral, he was thrust into a revelation of an even deeper and truer level of startling siyata dishmasha!
Rabbi Gruber returned to New York from Lakewood for Shabbat Key Sisi. Before Shabbat [Sabbath], he relayed copies of the previous four pages (in an earlier but very similar version) to Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Rabbi Fishelis, and others. Then, after Shabbat, Rabbi Gruber heard word back (although only from one witness) that a brouhaha had erupted between Reb Dovid, Rabbi Fishelis, and others due to Rabbi Gruber having, in limited edition, printed and publicized Reb Moshe’s, z”tl (RIP), posthumous message with details of the siyata dishmaya incidents that both occurred and seemed, miraculously, to support an assertion that the message was genuine.
Because we are meant to rodef shalom [chase peace], Rabbi Gruber, of course, went back to MTJ to smooth things over with these rabbis if the report turned out to be true. When there, and before he saw Reb Dovid, Rabbi Gruber asked Rabbi Fishelis whether it was or was not a good idea to speak to Rabbi Dovid about Reb Moshe’s message. Rabbi Fishelis responded, due to the sensitivities involved, that he did not think it was a good idea. So, both taking Rabbi Fishelis’ advice, and at the same time giving Reb Dovid the honor to decide for himself, when Reb Dovid was about to leave the building, Rabbi Gruber appeared to him, for the first time since Reb Dovid heard of his father’s posthumous message, and merely smiled to him a shalom [hello] while standing still to hold open MTJ’s front door so that Reb Dovid could glide out of the building. Warmly, Reb Dovid smiled back at Rabbi Gruber—and peace existed between the two! Baruch Hashem [thank the LORD]!
Then, the chain of siyata dishmaya validating Reb Moshe’s supernatural message continued! Reb Dovid left the building flanked by a few men, including Rabbi Aaron Price. And, as the group passed Rabbi Gruber, Rabbi Price told Reb Dovid a joke: he said that Tamar [a Biblical heroine] had the z’chut [merit] to be the mother of malchut Yehudah [Jewish royalty] because of her tzniut [modesty]. Specifically, she covered her face when she was with her father-in-law, Yehudah [Judah]. And, the joking Rabbi Price continued, he said that today’s young, frum [religious], Jewish women have learned a lesson from Tamar and are even one-upping Tamar’s level of righteousness. Namely, for the sake of tzniut, today’s Jewish women are refusing to see their father-in-laws at all!
After Rabbi Gruber heard this joke, he realized that the siyata dishmaya had continued! After all, that moment was the first time that he and Reb Dovid had seen each other in about five months. And, they saw each other only for the time it took for Reb Dovid to walk out of the building and into his waiting car. However, during that very short period of time, Hashem Yisbarach [LORD Who Blesses] caused the conversation that Reb Dovid was involved in to be, like the account of the b’not Lot, related to a usually-prohibited sexual activity that, due to unusual circumstances, was permissible (Tamar, due to peculiar circumstances, rightly had intercourse with her father-in-law, which is a sexual activity that is usually forbidden). Reb Dovid himself, from that moment, became a personal witness to the siyata dishmaya validating his father’s message as genuine! This can be said because only Hashem controls mazel [luck]—and Hashem so controls luck to express to us His ratzon [will].
After, Rabbi Gruber told Rabbi Fishelis what Rabbi Price happened to have said when Reb Dovid and Rabbi Gruber passed each other. Then, on Rabbi Fishelis’ say so, Rabbi Gruber told Rabbi Price all about the message and the confirming siyata dishmaya signs that had occurred at MTJ and in Lakewood. Rabbi Price was truly amazed and he readily understood how his “coincidentally” having relayed that particular joke contributed to the siyata dishmaya—and how it did so to Reb Dovid’s own eyes and ears!
CHILDREN ARE PROHIBITED FROM READING THE FOLLOWING:
Rabbi Gruber was advised to tell Rabbi Price more details about Reb Moshe’s message that were already known to Rabbi Fishelis. So, Rabbi Gruber frankly told Rabbi Price that Reb Moshe’s message was that Reb Moshe’s olam haba was downgraded because of Reb Moshe’s halachic rulings on issues of mischav zachar—rulings, in turns out, that, b’anai Hashem, were too strict. And, this was very serious, because being inappropriately strict in regards to mischav zachar can lead to people either committing suicide (sadly, gays are three times more likely to kill themselves) or having terribly unfulfilled lives. So, Reb Moshe soul was, now, in a place where he was being paid back for any problems that he had caused by his overly strict rulings.
Returning to a much-earlier part of this account, the morning after Rabbi Gruber first received Reb Moshe’s message in Baltimore, when Rabbi Gruber checked the online news, he discovered that the top news story regarded a gay man who committed suicide after being publicly embarrassed about his sexual inclination. And, this person, Alan Turing, was someone who saved many, many Jewish and other lives due to his work in breaking the Nazi’s secret code during WWII. In fact, Winston Churchill said that no other single person contributed more to the Allied victory than did Alan Turing!
So, you can imagine Rabbi Gruber’s shock when (1) the very morning after Reb Moshe revealed to him that Reb Moshe’s olam haba reward had been severely downgraded due to his overly harsh rulings on mishcav zachar having led gay people to commit suicide; and (2) the top news story happened to be about a gay man—who was arguably the single most important person in the whole world in the battle against the Nazi death machine—who committed suicide after being publicly shamed about his sexuality! (Moreover, such a report seemed to be a peculiar story to have been the top news item on any day.)
Reb Moshe, in his message, did not relate any halachic changes to his gadol hador rulings on mishcav zachar. Rather, he requested that Rabbi Gruber take care of the matter. . . . And, as Rabbi Gruber told Rabbi Price (after his having already relayed the same to Rabbi Fishelis), it seemed that, according to his, Rabbi Gruber’s, investigations after having received Reb Moshe’s message, the oversight in Reb Moshe’s halachic rulings regarded a situation where either (1) a man, under pain of death, was told to perform oral sex on another man or be killed; or (2) whether a hypothetical gay man who is feeling so lonely that he is going to commit suicide should commit suicide rather than perform oral sex on a man when such a performance of oral sex would equate to enough affection shared so that, with reduced loneliness, he was no longer at risk of suicide.
Even though oral sex between men is considered only d’rabbanon forbidden and not derisa, those who follow Jewish Law may strictly rule that one should suffer death rather than go against the d’rabbanon prohibition against oral sex between men. (This would be in the same way that one is told to accept death rather than, under pain of death, go against the d’rabbanon prohibitions against kissing or hugging a person with whom it would be derisa forbidden to have intercourse.)
However, Rabbi Gruber has discovered, as pertains to the mentioned, hypothetical, first and second cases, such a strict ruling seems to be incorrect. Rather, because oral sex will not necessarily lead to anal sex (countless heterosexual couples, for instance, while having had oral sex regularly, have not had anal sex even once), a likelihood exists, in both these cases, that the derisa prohibition would not be overstepped even when the d’rabbonon prohibition was broken. Consequently, the man being forced to perform oral sex on a man under pain of death should perform the oral sex and not die. Likewise, the hypothetical man who would surely commit suicide from loneliness should, also, perform oral sex on a man rather than kill himself.
Rabbi Fishelis, when told of Rabbi Gruber’s halachic position, mentioned that he knew of nothing written anywhere that specifically contradicted Rabbi Gruber’s understanding. Rabbi Beryl Feinstein, too, said that he knew of nothing definite to refute Rabbi Gruber’s position. (Rabbi Gruber, earlier, had told Rav Beryl about the otherworldly message that he had received from Rav Beryl’s grandfather.)
To be fair, after I, Rabbi Gruber, told one city’s Chief Rabbi about my permissive, halachic ruling on the discussed issues of mischav zachar, he disagreed. However, the name of such a Chief Rabbi is left undisclosed for the protection of his reputation.
M. Draft Sent With No Complaint
Well before the publication of this book, seven great rabbis were sent a draft section of this book that was titled, “Planned Section of an Upcoming Book that, Without Abrogating Torah Values, Is Highly Complementary of Christianity.” The seven rabbis were Rabbis Dovid Feinstein and Matisyahu Salomon, the four heads of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ (Rabbis Malkiel Kotler, Yerucham Olshin, Dovid Schustal, and Yisroel Neuman), and Bobov-45’s Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin. Thereafter, not one of these rabbis complained to me about the use of his name in such a section.
That draft section contained early-but-well-formed versions of segments found in this book. Namely, that draft contained, “About My Theology of Unification,” “More About My Theology of Unification,” “Reiteration of the Foundational Principle,” “Discussions with Beth Medrash Govoha Heads of School,” “Chat with BMG Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yerucham Olshin and his Rebbitzin,” and “Silence Both from Posek Hador, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, and from Bobov-45 dayan, Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin.”
While both the previous segment, involving a supernatural message from the soul of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, and the earlier segment, about Rabbi Moshe Wolfson and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, were not in the draft of the section that was mailed, such accounts were posted as an attachment to the draft section to all the above-mentioned rabbis except for Rabbi Rubin, who already knew of those other events.
N. Discussions with Beth Medrash Govoha Heads of School
After Pessach 5777, at Lakewood, NJ’s, Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG), I had conversations with two Rosh Yeshivas, Rabbis Dovid Schustal and Yisroel Neuman. During these conversations, I relayed the following: Because Moshiach has no choice but to save the world, Moshiach has no choice but to come, also, as Jesus Christ. And, by his so doing, he can get 2+ billion Christians to follow the Torah. At the end of this talk, both Rabbis gave me brachas. To quote Rabbi Neuman’s: “Zai Gezunt . . . body and soul . . . totally . . . l’netzach!”
Before this bracha, and to emphasize, Rabbi Neuman, with whom I more discussed the matter, was told about my understanding that Moshiach’s coming entailed an unflinching obligation to be, in name form, “Jesus Christ.” (For Moshiach to be Christ is obvious, as “Christ” means “Moshiach”; and, Moshiach must be Moshiach! And, if Moshaich is coming NOT to SAVE am Yisroel and the world, well, that’s not the real Moshaich!)
Pertaining to the previous, I, also, said that, at first, there does not need to be any public discussion regarding the individual who lived approximately 2000 years ago. Rather, at first, all that needs to be disseminated would be the theoretical equivalency between the concepts of “What will save” (“Yeshua/Yehoshua” or, in Greek, “Jesus”) and “anointed” (“Moshiach,” which, in Greek, is “Christ”). Specifically, if someone does not get his or her salvation—whether its water in the desert, medicine when deathly ill, or food when starving—the person will be dead. Therefore, logically, the concept of anointed/Moshiach is synonymous with Yehoshua/what will save, because whatever will save a person must be more anointed than all else.
After the above conversations with Rabbis Schustal and Neuman, I, also, spoke about the above topic (that is, about the Orthodox-Jewish Messiah’s obligation to be Jesus Christ, and that his so doing would be in line with the Rambam’s teachings) to the Muncatcher rebbe’s gabbai, Mayer Yosef Frankel. And, my words were accepted. Moreover, and as discussed with another one of the Munkatcher’s gabbaim, Yakov Lazer Cohen, it makes kabbalistic sense that Hashem, which means “The Name,” would have been, for so long, beating Jews over the heads via the use of the Christians to get Jews to recognize the previously mentioned understanding about the interrelatedness between the concepts of salvation and being anointed.
Consider: if the correlation between “anointed” and “what will save” is unrecognized, world salvation cannot be achieved because salvation would not necessarily be considered most important. In contrast, world salvation can be achieved when all recognize and believe that salvation is more anointed than all else. After this conversation, Mr. Cohen, clearly recognizing what the Rambam was referring to when he wrote about Christianity’s value b’zmanai Moshiach, gave me the sweetest brachot! [Later, I travelled to Israel and spoke to the Old City of Jerusalem’s previous Chief Rabbi, Avigdor Nebenzahl (whose son, now, fills the post). To him, I, also, explained why, from an Orthodox-Jewish perspective, the Messiah has no choice but to be Jesus Christ. Afterwards, he, too, gave me a great blessing.]
Returning to Rabbi Neuman, I said that in Christian theology (1) “Jesus” is known to be rooted on the concept of salvation; (2) there is a clear distinction between the doings of Jesus and that of Satan (like the Jewish understanding of the Sutton, Satan is considered a force of destruction and the opposite of salvation); and (3) life is good, death, bad. Therefore, because Christians consider these forces of salvation and destruction to operate via mankind’s actions (Satan, per Christian theology, inhabits a person), Christians can recognize that their time is rightly spent ridding the world of death-producing destruction: war, murder, life-threatening pollution, etc.
With the previous in mind, it becomes clear how Moshaich—whose name, per the Ohr HaChaim, is Chaim, “Life”—can quickly utilize, as the Rambam writes, Christians for good purposes. After all, Moshiach’s job is to rid the world of evil, and evil is what causes death according to Christian theology (“the wages of sin are death”) and the Orthodox-Jewish Torat Chaim.
O. Chat with BMG Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yerucham Olshin and His Rebbitzin
The Rambam writes that b’zmanai Moshiach the doings of the Notzrim will come to good for am Yisroel because Christianity spread enough true Torah and ideas about Moshiach (Hilchot Milachim, 11/4). With that in mind, around Pessach, 5777, I spoke to BMG Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yerucham Olshin and to his rebbitzin about my new involvement with the local Catholic University. I told them that such regarded an identical overlap between Jewish and Christian belief as regards the theology that it is the inappropriate ego of mankind that keeps the Messiah at bay. After hearing this news, Rabbi Olshin wished me a bracha of “Hatzlacha!”
P. Head of Hassidic Dynasty Recognizes the Dawn of the Messianic Age
About two-years prior to this book’s publication, after having been away in Europe for over a year, I, Rabbi Chaim Gruber, spoke to the Hassidic Kossoner Rebbe, Rabbi Yehosef Rottenberg, at Tosh synagogue, Boro Park, Brooklyn. The Kossoner asked where I had been; and, I told him that I had spent some time in Rome, where I had an enlightening conversation with an Italian worker at a being-built Chabad House:
I told the Kossoner that I was, for the first time, meeting one of Rome’s Chabad rabbis, Rabbi Menachem Lazar, in a still-being-built, new Chabad house. There, I got into a conversation with a non-Jewish worker who clearly had anger issues. Toward the end of our conversation, I felt obliged to try my best to heal this man of his potential for violence; and, I determined that my way of doing so would be to get him to recognize that his best course of action would be one that was civil as opposed to one that was violent.
(Of course, a quick-fix, animalistic use of violence to achieve some goal is not a true solution: the use of violence is risky to begin with; and, even if successfully used in the short term, a might-makes-right approach cannot achieve long-term success. This is because achieving a goal by an unjustifiable use of force means that one is fighting against those who are noncompliant to the degree that force, in the future, must be used again and again to sustain the goal. However, because no one has unlimited resources to the degree that dictators or their progeny cannot succeed in their oppression of others forever, those that had once won via a might-makes-right approach will become, when resources eventually deplete, the victims of a violent backlash. Therefore, in contrast to such a use of oppressive, unjustifiable force, the lasting way to achieve a goal is derived from convincing others to do the right thing. Thereby, force is unneeded because those who are convinced are freely willing to assist in the goal’s achievement.)
Then, I told the Kossoner that, when I was speaking to the worker, I recognized what I needed to say to achieve, most quickly and with the greatest strength, the fix in this Christian worker’s mind. Namely, I asked the worker the following question, “Would Jesus ever use violence to solve a problem?” Immediately, this Christian man responded that Jesus would never use violence.
Then, the Kossoner Rebbe instantly and repeatedly nodded that I was correct in my assessment that Christians, who were knowledgeable [that is, not the type to be fooled into a violent Crusade, but rather, the type to believe the New Testament’s declaration that “the war we fight is not a war of flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12)], would respond in the same way as did that Christian worker. (After my Brooklyn conversation with the Kossoner, the city of Rouen, France, suffered a terror attack on July 25, 2016. In response to that attack, Rouen’s Archbishop, His Grace, Dominique Lebrun, remarked, “The Catholic Church can take up no weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among people of goodwill.”)
Returning to my conversation with the Kossoner, I said that all true Christians who are, in their hearts, convicted of their beliefs can be made to be civil. And, if all true Christians can be made to be civil to the degree that they listen to verbal arguments in order to determine what is the best course of action, such means that were the Torah to be properly explained, such Christians would follow the Torah because the Torah, correctly understood, is always the best course of action. After all, the Torah, from the Creator of the Universe, is a compendium of the rules that apply in every generation to everyone. Then, to my remarks, the Kossoner immediately agreed. Moreover, because such changes in Jewish law’s understanding and appreciation of Christianity have been predicted to occur at the Messianic Age, the Kossoner agreed that we must be in the dawn of such an Age!
Q. Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss’s Comment
Besides the Kossoner Rebbe, the famous maggid (speaker), Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, recognized the sagacity and truth of my words as regards to the need for ultra-Orthodox Jews to appreciate Christianity far more. Rabbi Weiss, too, immediately knew that any Christian worth his or her salt would say that Yeshua Ha’notzri (Jesus) would not use violence to achieve a goal. While, with Rabbi Weiss, the dawn of the Messianic Age was not discussed, he did say that the right time to spread this novel understanding was now. This was so, he continued, because, while he did not think that former popes would have been amenable to my words, the present popes would likely be amenable to what I had to say. (As Rabbi Weiss stated “popes,” he must have meant both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict—who, while retired, still has a “Pope” title and is very influential.)
R. Chat with Rabbi Moshe David, Son of Rabbi Mechel Yehudah Lefkowitz, z’tl
In Boro Park, I met Rabbi Moshe David Lefkowitz of Bnai Brak, the son of former gadol hador, Rabbi Mechel Yehudah Lefkowitz of Bnai Brak, z'tl. I relayed to Rabbi Lefkowitz the heart of my chiddush that I had discussed with both the Kossoner Rebbe and Rabbi Weiss, that is, how the logic underlying the Rambam’s statement—that in the Messianic Age the doings of the Christians will become good for am Yisroel—had become evident because Christians, by the widespread use of the Jesus-would-not-use-violence chiddush, could be made civil; and, civil people, when using logic, will eventually realize that the Torah way is the right way. (As a result, the Torah can be spread to all the world, as chazal teach it will be spread b’zmanai Moshiach.)
While it was very difficult to get Rabbi Lefkowitz to hear my words because it pertained to Yeshua Hanotzri, I, who am, by birth, Chaim Yehudah ben Yechezkel, was, with Rabbi Lefkowitz, very chazak and very chazak again—to the degree that I managed to get Rabbi Lefkowitz to listen to my statement until its end. Then, suddenly enlightened, Rabbi Lefkowitz changed his expression from one of chagrin to one of smiling wonder! And, at last, Rabbi Lefkowitz repeatedly agreed that my chiddush was Nifla (wondrous)! Nifla!
Importantly, I, also, mentioned to Rabbi Lefkowitz that, in the Gamara, Rav Yehudah says that getting rid of wild animals, the vilda chiayas, is the highest level of removing all evil from the world.
Finally, Rabbi Lefkowtiz’s son, Yechezkel, who I, too, spoke with, said that my chiddush was “Yaffe (beautiful)! Yaffe!”